It’s Hard to Be a Good Writer?

Is it hard to be a good writer? Of course not.

All you have to do is:

  1. Write a lot. Keep writing until you get really, really good.
  2. And then, write some more.
  3. Be open to lots of negative feedback. Use it as constructive criticism (even if it’s meant to be destructive), and get better.
  4. Identify your niche and focus on that. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Zero in on what makes you unique as a writer. Widen your audience by narrowing your subject.
  5. Write some more.
  6. Collaborate with other (better) writers on projects. Do it pro bono — just for the experience.
  7. Coach others on how to write. Teaching always makes you a better practitioner of what you’re trying to educate others on how to do.
  8. Commit to writing every day. And then actually do it.
  9. Stay the course. Be committed.
  10. Keep writing. Never give up.

So, is being a good writer hard? No, obviously not. It just takes time. Time and a lot of work.

It’s not easy, but it certainly isn’t hard, either. You just have to be willing to put in the hours.

Come to think of it, most disciplines are like that. They aren’t hard, per se. They just require, well, discipline.

This is the secret to becoming a good writer. It’s the secret of people who magically appear to be excellent at something. The secret is that they don’t start out good; they just end up that way.

And the difference is practice.

5 thoughts on “It’s Hard to Be a Good Writer?

  1. Excellent advice. The only thing I would add is to read constantly, and not only things that affirm your tastes and preferences.

    Don’t force yourself to finish something you truly, deeply hate, but challenge yourself to find some redeeming value in it.

    Take chances on books and writers you’ve never heard of.

    Even if you’re a prose writer, learn how to read poetry (I still need to work on this one).

  2. Totally agree, its really not that hard actually… but the commitment thing is really hard! But I will try because I need to write! Thanks Jeff, you’re great! Happy NY and God bless (:

  3. I’m trying to stick with writing. I’m not that old yet, and I want to eventually good. I’m starting off with small things like writing fanfiction because I enjoy it.
    But even then, I keep getting into this funk where I think my work is god awful -and it is- and I wonder if I’ll ever really be good. It’s just I struggle so much when it comes to writing characters because I can’t fully grasp their personalities (because I don’t really understand people themselves) and it’s just so frustrating. They’re all over the place with how they act and I have to keep fixing scenes fifty times so that they don’t seem out of character. I guess that’s just what I’m going to have to keep doing until I get a good grasp on everything… then maybe I’ll get better with less corrections…

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